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Wiregrass Shop Owners: RNC Not Boosting Business Yet

Poor weather blamed for lack of expected uptick in customers.

While corporate policy prevented most Wiregrass store managers from speaking on the record, the Republican National Convention has not driven any additional customers to the outdoor mall by most accounts.

Gads of delegates are staying 6 miles to the north at Saddlebrook, but Tuesday was looking typical at best in terms of customers.

“I hate to say it, but yeah, it might be worse,” said Bill Bolton, who owns The Pretzel Twister food stand.

The owners of Wiregrass had been hoping for an uptick in traffic. The  The multi-day event features music, entertainment and discounts.

Shop owners say poor weather stirred up by Isaac is to blame, and traffic has been slower ever since students went back to school.

“I forgot about (the RNC) because it’s been so atypical,” Bolton said of business. “Has anyone else even seen these (delegates)?”

A store manager at Journeys said there has been no discernible increase in sales or window-shoppers.

Monika, who did not want her last name used, was operating the Tropical Sno food cart Tuesday. She said she has not been aware of any delegates coming to Wiregrass to enjoy themselves.

“Right now it’s slow,” she said. “And yesterday it was raining.”

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